39.9 Degrees?!? Out of Commission For a Few Days…I Think

I hate to sound like instructor John Kreese from the Karate Kid (“I don’t want him beat. Out of Commission”), but lately I just don’t understand what’s happening to me. I truly don’t get sick very often, or miss work unless it’s absolutely necessary. But lately things haven’t been going, at all, as planned.

Today I had the worst fever I’ve ever had in my life.

I was feeling slightly dizzy after work on Tuesday. When I went home and slept for a while, I woke up around 11 p.m. feeling worse (37.4 degrees…not terribly bad…but a mild fever). I managed to get back to sleep. Feeling chills, I woke up around 5:30 a.m. and did a temperature check, 38.0. I tried drinking some cold water but every swallow felt like a tiny man was kicking me in the back of the throat. Every single muscle was sore, my back was hurting, and my best efforts to “sleep it off” weren’t working. I didn’t want to miss work again and besides I was supposed to have an observation later today.

I showered, got dressed, and put on a jacket, because I was really cold. I got on my bike and could barely pedal, I then midway through the ride I was drenched with sweat. I lazily suffed my jacket in my bag. It was like a drunken ride to work, except instead of alcohol, I was riding under the influence of bacteria. The commute to work felt so long. I finally made it to school and was having trouble standing. Seriously, during the walk from the station to the school, I nearly fell over several times…but I made it. I asked the nurse if I could use a thermometer. 39.4! We looked at the reading in disbelief, and she tried another thermometer. 38.5. I don’t know which one was right at the time, but judging by how I was feeling, I’m pretty sure the first one may have been on the money.

I had to teach three first grade classes today (my youngest group). All of the first graders are generally pretty energetic (that’s probably the case in Japan, the U.S…the world over) which is generally a good thing for me. But when your body is trying to decide whether to vomit or pass out, all that energy becomes head-pounding noise. I used a desk to support myself, and made it through two classes before the principal sent me home. I wanted to power through it, but deep down, I don’t know if I could have.

A staff member drove me to Moriya station, and I headed back to Tsukuba. I didn’t want to eat, I didn’t want to sleep, I wanted my fever gone. It was an exhausting bike ride to Tsukuba Medical Center, and when I took my temperature, it was 39.9 degrees. I thought to myself “That cant’ be right.” So I did it again…39.9 degrees.

I thought that maybe it was the thermometer I was using, but when the doctor’s thermometer registered the the exact same thing as mine, I knew it was going to be a long night. I don’t know what’s going on with me this month, but I am SEVERELY frustrated. I know exactly what my next post is going to be about (forgive me in advance because I know it’s going to be a rant). It’s going to be a couple of days, though, because I’m having some health trouble right now (Nanami…”Red Warrior needs medicine badly.”).

The timing couldn’t be any worse either. I know I haven’t done any recent updates about the stomach pain I was having, but I’m supposed to go in for a CT Scan tomorrow (I scheduled that a couple of weeks ago) to check on that, too.

A lot of people might say, “Donald, you’re stupid for going to work with such a high fever.” To those people all I can say is this. I am living abroad, without a single family member here to speak of. I have very little savings to speak of after moving and changing jobs. The vast majority of jobs don’t pay you for not working, especially this early on. The rent, the bills, student loans will come whether I’m sick or not. And I still gotta eat, right? Does the “Work, Just Get By…Repeat” cycle suck? You bet your ass it does, but it’s reality…at least for now.

Talk to you soon,

Donald Ash

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  • Marisa

    Take care of yourself! I think both Regina and I know how you feel. I still haven’t gotten over my illness either and it’s been 3 weeks but off to work I go even though it’s super hot and humid. At least they said that we will get paid if the school send us home. Mine just had me sit in the teachers room and canceled most of my classes. sitting in a hot room while feeling miserable sucks!

    Make sure to get lots of rest the next few days. I’m looking forward to reading your rant.

    • Donald Ash

      Thanks Marisa, I’ll take care. Make I’ll use some of the Fu*kitol tablets that Kouichi gave me.

  • Oh no Donald-san! Please, please stay in bed! *pushes gently*

    What is it with this month? I just found out some lovely news too from my doctor.

    I vote we stay in and play games together! Super Mario World? Legend of Zelda? Tekken?

    Do you have enough liquids? You need to keep your electrolytes up, under a TON of covers (I know not exactly something fun to do in summer heat) to help sweat it out.. which really does help, and something with a lot of nutrients. Chicken noodle soup? I don’t know what kinda stuff you have on hand but if nothing else.. Bread, rice, applesauce and toast. Those are simple things. Noodles (any sort of starch) is also very good.

    AND -drumroll- are you familiar with pedialyte? You know that stuff for kids when they’re sick? It’s great for adults too and there’s a very simple recipe for it.. Pick your poison.

    Grape Homemade Pedialyte Recipe:

    1 liter drinkable water

    1 tablespoon salt

    2-3 tablespoons sugar

    1/2 packet grape kool-aid

    Cherry Homemade Pedialyte Recipe:

    1 liter drinkable water

    1/2 teaspoon baking soda

    1 tablespoon salt

    3 tablespoons sugar

    1/2 packet cherry jello

    I only know this because I get dehydrated and sick very easily.

    I hope you feel better soon ; ;….!

    • And I understand about the not being able to stay at home.. but when you are at home.. ; ; bundle up! Drink up! Simple foods! ; ;

      And of course, you’re entitled to a rant post every now and then! You are always very upbeat. Being on your own, overseas.. it’s impressive. You totally have the White Mage’s permission >>;!

      • Donald Ash

        LOL! I love the video game references! They’re the perfect pick me up!

    • There is neither kool-aid nor baking soda in Japan. Good ole Aquarius will do the trick.

    • Donald Ash

      WHOA! Cool recipe! I’m gonna have to give that a go for sure. You’re gonna be mad at me, but I’ve actually never played a Zelda Game all the way through. I want to play Ocarina of TIme because it looks so cool. When I have some down time, though…for sure!! You know what I always wanted to play online though? Maybe not the best when somebody’s sick, but, Resident Evil. I just want to try and play online with some friends. Do I hear the start of the Japan Guy Video Gaming Club? Heh heh heh

  • Anthony

    Get well soon Donald! Hopefully it’s just one of those 24-48 hour fevers that just require some deep sleeping. Did you get all that mold taken care of? That could be the reason.

    • Donald Ash

      Thanks Anthony, I’m all over that mold thing.

  • I totally get going to work. My company grills me about the specifics of my illness when I call in sick. They insist I go to the doctor if I am sick enough to stay home, but sometimes you just need to stay home and rest. It takes too much energy, money and Japanese speaking to go to the hospital when you are sick.

    It is the Japanese way to come to work sick and tough it out. It’s so wrong as it is passing your illness on everyone else and makes you sick for a longer time.

    • Donald Ash

      I have to agree on that one. I’ve been going to work trying to be a diligent worker, but this time around it may be slowing the recovery process. Thanks, Alana.

  • Marisa

    There is baking soda. I use it when I bake.

    • I have only seen baking powder not baking soda. I use baking powder when I bake.

      • it is called JYUSOU 重曹

        there is of course BS in japan…but small packs compared to bk home

        at costco u can get a HUGE bag, enough to last u years…for about 600yen

        take care don! drink up and rest up too!


        • Donald Ash

          Great tip, Vivian! THANKS!!

  • Since this is unclear.. ^_^;

    “Baking soda” can be either “juusou” (重曹) or “tansan” (タンサン), with the term “juusou” apparent being used more for baking soda that’s sold as a cleaning product, and “tansan” being used for baking soda being sold to cook with.

    So, Baking Soda is 重曹 juusou! ^ ^; Which for anyone who likes to cook.. that could be useful xD

  • Ah! Thank you I will look for it.

  • Regina

    Hey Donald,
    I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been so sick! But especially in this heat, it’s better that you don’t push yourself. I know and understand the money issue believe me i do. But your health is more important. You can always teach private lessons to make up the missed money later on. I’m sure you have tons of former students would love another Donald lesson!

    • Donald Ash

      Thanks for posting Regina. I’m gonna have to think of something. I just can’t figure out why I’ve been so under the weather lately. Are you feeling okay these days?

  • D, fu*k that job because you can’t work if you’re sick. You can’t even function. You’re making the right choice to stay home and get better. Who knows, you could be back to health sooner than if you tried to tough it out at work. Regina makes a good point about those private lessons too. Shoot, I would even recommend private lessons to positively supplement your income if time permits. Maybe you have already considered that. It’s an idea though if you have not.

    • Donald Ash

      Thanks bro. Honestly the company’s been pretty good about my sick day requests, but I know my sick days available until next month, company policy I guess. Ah well, private lessons, a ninja assassin for hire, or Tex Murphy type detective, I wonder which one I should do. It’s neither. I’d rather be a Ben-type, Full Throttle Hero. Ahh, those games were the best, D! Derrick if you haven’t already, please read the comment Jaison wrote on my article “How Japan Killed the American Arcade.” D, you have to put your favorites in…PLEASE!! I even mentioned your legendary Street Fighter 2 skills in the article. Check it out :)

      • Already done!! hahahahaha!

  • Mariko

    Hey Donald, hope you will be better soon! Get some good rest on the weekend!!!

    • Donald Ash

      Thank you so much Mariko. You always have a kind word to share. I will try to rest up as much as possible.

  • Donald D. Ash

    Hey Donald I hope you are feeling better and that your fever has broke. Do you need me to send you some nyquil? I know that will break a fever no questions asked. (: I know that you are having a rough go of it there in Japan with no one to turn to. I went through that when I was stationed in Korea and could not lean on anyone for support. Back then even communication was horrible because then there was no cell phones, skype, or computers, just horrible land lines that kept dropping calls at almost $10.00 for the first three minutes. Hang in there kid. I believe in you. I know it will get better soon. Love, Dad.

    • Donald Ash

      Thanks, Dad. I should be okay on NyQuil, I still have some left. It did help me break my fever.
      Now I’m just trying to rest and fully recover.
      Those Korea days sound pretty rough. It must have been pretty bad back then.
      I’ll keep on keepin’ on…I have to.
      Love you too, Pops.

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